With an election due any second now, I'm not going to make any guesses what will happen election day, not yet. But here are a few predictions on what's going to happen during the month of April:
- We'll see an initial jump in Conservative numbers - they'll jump into the forties for a week or so. Not only because the 'no-election' camp will support them (if they're not already) but also because their camp is more firmly established, and the 'undecideds' will rise (an event which is hidden in polling soundbites), dipping from the other four parties' support.
- We'll also see an initial NDP jump, though perhaps a more moderate one. It will have longer legs, though.
- At some point in the campaign, we'll see the NDP within five percentage points of the Liberals, and there will be plenty of talk about the NDP replacing the Liberals as the main federalist alternative. I can say nothing about whether or not that bubble will make it to election day.
- Jack Layton's health will be a recurring bugaboo, and perhaps surprisingly it will be the Liberals who will push it as an issue.
- Ignatieff will change his tone during the campaign, trying to redefine his image as something more prime ministerial. It might work.
- The NDP's Québec bubble will burst.
- The Liberals will reveal a few more Conservative scandals that that've been holding onto. They will not have much of an effect.
- The Conservatives will largely succeed in defining the elction on economic terms as opposed to ethical terms. The Liberals will follow suit, and in the second half of the campaign will talk Conservative overspending more than Conservative abuses of power.
- The debates will be hard on Harper. He will come across as aloof, surly and tired.
- Elizabeth May will utterly fail in getting her voice heard.
Well, there's ten. Let's come back to this in a month or so and see how I did, eh?